Washington Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Teachers, Initiative 732 (2000)

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The Washington Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Teachers Initiative, also known as Initiative Measure 732, was on the November 7, 2000 election ballot as an Initiative to the People in Washington, where it was approved. This initiative allows teachers and other school district employees to receive cost-of-living salary adjustments.

Election results

Washington Initiative 732 (2000)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,501,261 62.69%
No893,60137.31%

Election results via the Washington Secretary of State.[1]

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:[2]

Shall public school teachers, other school district employees, and certain employees of community and technical colleges receive annual cost-of-living salary adjustments, to begin in 2001-2002?[3]

Support

Arguments in favor

These arguments in support appeared in the official State of Washington Voter Guide:[4]

ATTRACT AND KEEP THE BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN THE TEACHER AND SCHOOL EMPLOYEE COST-OF-LIVING INITIATIVE

Our children deserve talented, dedicated teachers. It's the single most important thing we can do to improve the quality of their education. That's why the Washington PTA, Governor Locke, and bi-partisan community leaders across the state support the straightforward I-732.

YES TO COMPETING FOR THE BEST

Washington faces a serious teacher shortage. Yet our teachers, staff and community college faculty have not received a raise in 4 of the last 8 years. Washington educators are paid below the national average and lag even further behind states like Oregon and California that are aggressively recruiting our best teachers -- providing signing bonuses, forgiving college loans and offering more competitive salaries. I-732 will help narrow the gap to help recruit quality educators into the profession-and keep them here in Washington.

YES TO ACCOUNTABILITY AND FAIRNESS

We expect more of educators than ever before. Under state standards, starting teachers will have to pass competency tests and meet 17 performance criteria. And all teachers must complete higher-level coursework throughout their careers. Educators should be held accountable, but they deserve salaries that attract and keep the best.

YES TO QUALITY EDUCATORS AND SMALLER CLASSES

Washington teachers face the 3rd largest class sizes in the nation. We need smaller classes, but they're only as good as the teachers we put in them. We need to do both- reduce class sizes and pass I-732- to recruit quality educators. From the classroom to the lunchroom, from the library to the nurse's office, dedicated teachers and staff are working together for the quality education of our children. Vote Yes to attract and keep the best.

For more information, call 206.256.0245 or e-mail yeson732@seanet.com or visit www.yeson732.com.

Rebuttal of Statement Against

Yes to narrowing the gap. Next to parents, educators are among the most important people in our children's lives. But we pay them much less than many other professions with similar education and experience. With a $1.1 billion surplus, let's use existing resources tor more competitive salaries. Endorsers include: • Washington PTA • Washington ·school Principals and Superintendents • Washington Education Association • Washington School Board Members • Public School Employees of Washington • 298,722 Washington Voters who signed 1-732.[3]

Supporters

The following individuals signed the argument in support of Initiative 732 in the State of Washington's official voter guide:

  • Dr. Terry Bergeson, Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Karen Mikolasy, Washington Teacher of the Year (1999)
  • Nicole McGowan, Citizens for Quality Educators and local PTA co-chair
  • Lee Ann Prielipp, President, English Teacher and Washington Education Association
  • Glenn Gorton, President, Public School Employees of Washington

Opposition

Arguments against

These arguments in opposition appeared in the official State of Washington Voter Guide:[5]

I-732 IS DIVISIVE AND THREATENS VALUABLE STATE PROGRAMS

I-732 adds no state revenue-it only consumes more of existing resources. I-732 can only have two consequences: the legislature must either drastically cut other state programs or lift the state's "spending lid." I-732 pits school employee pay against roads and transportation, children's needs, seniors, law enforcement, crime prevention, parks and other legitimate needs. Citizens must unite to come up with a funding strategy that addresses all of the state's needs. ·

I-732 IS ALSO UNFAIR

School employees aren't the only public employees with pay inequities. What about state foresters whose work adds trust fund value to pay for school construction? What about community college staff or university faculty, who also school our kids? What about transportation engineers who design our roads and who are 30% underpaid or Park Rangers underpaid by 22.5%? I-732 excludes 80,000 deserving public employees!

I-732 COULD HURT SCHOOL EMPLOYEES

Unless the I-601 spending lid is lifted, I-732 could actually hurt all public employees including school employees. Legislators can't pay out what the spending lid won't allow. What school employees get in I-732 pay they might wind up losing in their health benefit funding.

I-732 FUNDS ONE NEED AT THE EXPENSE OF ALL OTHERS

As a labor organization representing 5,000 public employees, it is difficult to oppose gains for any worker. However, I-732 drives a wedge between state-funded programs. It also drives a wedge between state-funded employees. It is divisive and exclusionary. We should be united and work together on behalf of all citizens' needs. If the I-601 spending lid is the problem, then we must face up to it and the legislature must lift it.

Rebuttal of Statement For

Transportation improvements, environmental protection, seniors, crime prevention, parks and at-risk children, should not be underfunded to spend more on education and 1-732 pay raises. Underfunding will happen, unless legislators set aside the state's spending limit imposed years ago by Initiative 601. The limit also disallows spending $1.8 billion in surplus state revenues- for education and 1-732, or for anything else. 1-732 funds one need at the expense of all others. That's wrong.[3]

Opponents

The following individuals signed the argument in opposition of Initiative 713 in the State of Washington's official voter guide:

  • Ike Ikerd, Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA) board member
  • Jim Austin, WPEA board member
  • Yogi Iodice, WPEA treasurer
  • Dick Williams, WPEA board member
  • Earl Kalles, WPEA board member

Path to the ballot

Initiative 732 was filed on March 14, 2000 by Lee Ann Prielipp of Federal Way. 298,722 signatures were collected to qualify it for the ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot as provided for by the state constitution.[6]

See also

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